Worcester Warriors to be put into administration and suspended from playing after failing to meet RFU deadline

The RFU wanted the Warriors to prove by 5pm on Monday 26 September that the club "had insurance cover in place, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll and a credible plan to take the club forward".

By Alex Bowmer Published: 27 September 2022 - 12.56pm
The outside of Sixways after Worcester Warriors were put into administration

Worcester Warriors are to be put into administration and are suspended from all competitions with immediate effect after failing to meet an RFU deadline to provide proof of funds. 

Rugby union's governing body in England wanted the club to prove that, by 5pm on Monday 26 September, they "had insurance cover in place, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll and a credible plan to take the club forward".

Administration now means Worcester could face either a points deduction or relegation from the Premiership, although the team's results so far this season have not yet been scrubbed from the league table. 

After the 5pm deadline had passed, the club released a statement which said: "Worcester Warriors can confirm that WRFC Trading Limited has today asked DCMS [the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] to place the club into administration. DCMS will now apply to the court to appoint administrators.

"As negotiations with possible investors have still not led to critically needed funding, administration is seen as the best solution to safeguard the interests of the business and ensure the best chances of a solution that saves the club.

"It is hoped that this course of action will help to bring forward interested purchasers who may be able to preserve the club."

Worcester's ban comes after they were served with a winding-up order by HMRC over an unpaid tax bill, while the club's total debts - believed to be around £25m - also include failure to repay a loan of around £15m to help the West Midlands outfit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Warriors owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring announced two weeks ago that they had agreed to the club being sold to an interested party, but that news went quiet.

Players were paid late for August, while many staff either received a partial salary for the same month or were not paid at all last month. 

Despite the behind-the-scenes turmoil, matches have continued to be played at Sixways, with an emotional build-up to Saturday's meeting with Newcastle Falcons preceding a thumping 39-5 Premiership win. 

One possibility could see a consortium buy Worcester which is fronted by their former chief executive, Jim O'Toole, who has previously said that he was only prepared to proceed once the club were put into administration.

If a buyer is found in a timely fashion, Worcester would potentially be able to resume playing, but for now, the club's future is uncertain.